TED Talks don’t just happen. There’s an army of people behind the scenes to make sure everything is done right.
From the minute I found out I had been selected to give a TED talk I was fortunate enough to work with a team of people to make sure it would be a success. First off was my coach, the inimitable Cyndi Stivers. Cyndi helped me take the tangled spaghetti of my thought process and distill it into a talk that could make sense to the rest of the world. Cyndi is a vet of the print media tsunami who reinvented herself on the tech side. You couldn’t ask for a better cheerleader/editor/storyteller. See her fantastic chat on the future of storytelling with Shonda Rhimes here.
Plus Cyndi has a really cool pet Dove named Milt. Milt made it to a Page Six mention. What more could anyone ask for?
Edit, Edit, Edit!
We began wrestling with “The Talk” in mid-November and kept tweaking right up until three days before the presentation in early February.
Those readers who know me well know my mind shoots out ideas like Robin Williams. Thank goodness Cyndi was there to hone and distill the 50 different directions I kept veering off into, creating a far more structured talk than I would have come up with on my own.
Cyndi also helped me navigate through TED’s incredibly thorough fact checking process. One week we both frantically tried to locate the author and original source of a particularly convincingly cited scientific study to no avail! She laughed with me when SpaceX kept launching new Falcon 9 flights in rapid succession, necessitating constant recalculation of their success rate on a massive spreadsheet to justify one (important) line in my talk. You’ll see how we wound up compromising away from specifics in the talk. Space X even launched one 6 days before the talk for good measure!